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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

There are a few moments from behind the glass that stop us dead in our tracks — times during an interview when a wise voice creates a new opportunity to hear something differently. To challenge a conceit. To envelop the listener in the womb of silent storytelling and place one in a position of listening profundity.

Vincent Harding was one of those men. He’ll be missed, and this story will stay with me till the end of my days.

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Poetry prevents everybody from feeling lonely.
- Nikki Giovanni, from The Read Around
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The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life…the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds, and join in the general dance.
-

Thomas Merton, from New Seeds of Contemplation

Picked up this killer quotation from a comment on our Facebook page. People are amazing.

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There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover’s quarrel with their country.
- William Sloane Coffin
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Stunning visualization of tikkun olam from German artist Anselm Kiefer. Sent to us from a listener, reminded by our show on Kabbalah. Here is a beautiful telling of tikkun olam by Rachel Naomi Remen: 


In the beginning there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident, and the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light, and they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.
Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It’s a very important story for our times. And this task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world.


(via the St. Louis Art Museum)

Stunning visualization of tikkun olam from German artist Anselm Kiefer. Sent to us from a listener, reminded by our show on Kabbalah. Here is a beautiful telling of tikkun olam by Rachel Naomi Remen: 

In the beginning there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident, and the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light, and they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.

Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It’s a very important story for our times. And this task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world.

(via the St. Louis Art Museum)

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The texture of this screen wall combined with the thoughtful pose and determined stride of this woman are compositionally fantastic. Perfect image to lead a commentary on Barbara Ehrenreich’s new memoir.

The texture of this screen wall combined with the thoughtful pose and determined stride of this woman are compositionally fantastic. Perfect image to lead a commentary on Barbara Ehrenreich’s new memoir.

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Men do not get assassinated for wanting children of different colors to hold hands on a mountainside. He was telling us to march on segregated housing, segregated schools, poverty, a military with more support than social programs. That’s where he was in 1965. If we let him go where he was going, then he becomes a challenge, not a comfort.
- Dr. Vincent Harding, from a 2005 lecture as quoted in The New York Times
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The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art academic building is seen in Manhattan’s Cooper Square in New York City. The modern glass and steel building with concave facade was designed by architect Thom Mayne of the Los Angeles-based Morphosis and is heralded as one of Manhattan’s newest architectural marvels.
Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art academic building is seen in Manhattan’s Cooper Square in New York City. The modern glass and steel building with concave facade was designed by architect Thom Mayne of the Los Angeles-based Morphosis and is heralded as one of Manhattan’s newest architectural marvels.

Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images

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trentgilliss:

Postcard from MN: The loons of Lake Washburn say good night.

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Postcard from the Rockies: St. Malo Chapel on the Rock.
Devastatingly unexpected. Talked to the caretaker for 20 minutes —rough, craggy, and as good as they come. This used to be a boys camp built by an Italian priest in the 1930s but now is a retreat center. Long’s Peak is the backdrop. Pope JPII visited and hiked here in 1993. Long may it stand.
(via trentgilliss)

Postcard from the Rockies: St. Malo Chapel on the Rock.

Devastatingly unexpected. Talked to the caretaker for 20 minutes —rough, craggy, and as good as they come. This used to be a boys camp built by an Italian priest in the 1930s but now is a retreat center. Long’s Peak is the backdrop. Pope JPII visited and hiked here in 1993. Long may it stand.

(via trentgilliss)

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You can’t make anything authentic by asking people what they want, because they don’t know what they want. That’s what they’re looking at you for.
- Thom Mayne, architect and winner of the 2005 Pritzker Prize    
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Such is beauty. Its variety is infinite, its possibility is endless. In normal life all may have it and have it yet again. The world is full of it; and yet today the mass of human beings are choked away from it, and their lives distorted and made ugly. This is not only wrong, it is silly. Who shall right this well-nigh universal failing. Who shall let this world be beautiful? Who shall restore men the glory of sunsets and the peace of quiet sleep?
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W. E. B. Du Bois, from Vol. 32 No. 6 of the Crisis, October 1926, pp. 290-297.

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"When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver

As you read this poem, ask yourself a simple question and take some time to ponder it: "How, then, shall I live?"

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited the world.

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The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

- Elizabeth Bishop, from "One Art"
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Parker Palmer asks us to ponder a simple question: "How, then, shall I live?"
Photo by Sergey Norin / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Parker Palmer asks us to ponder a simple question: "How, then, shall I live?"

Photo by Sergey Norin / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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